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    It's set during "Export to Trainz", in the lower...

    It's set during "Export to Trainz", in the lower left corner. "Route only" might suffice, as long as you have the vector lines of your route loaded. It will affect all baseboards touched by the...
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    Try the original USGS 1/3 arc sec from TNM...

    Try the original USGS 1/3 arc sec from TNM. TransDEM will convert it to a 10m grid. And this fill is quite a prominent feature indeed.
    ...
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    Theoretically, it could. But often, the nominal...

    Theoretically, it could. But often, the nominal resolution is higher than the physical resolution. You can check in TransDEM, with shading on. How pronounced does the fill appear there?
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    No, this is just to enhance the visual...

    No, this is just to enhance the visual impression. You will get a better idea whether cuttings and embankments/high fills are actually present in the DEM.

    1/3 arc sec will translate to a 10m grid....
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    Not really. All Trainz coordinates are...

    Not really. All Trainz coordinates are 3-dimensional. If you swap the terrain (theoretically), the objects you have placed before may hover above the new ground or will be buried below.
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    The Trainz baseboard grid is either 5m or 10m. 5m...

    The Trainz baseboard grid is either 5m or 10m. 5m will get the better terrain detail.

    TransDEM maps geo data to Trainz World Coordinates. Trainz doesn't really know about geo data and its...
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    Yes, as John said, use 1/9 arc sec where...

    Yes, as John said, use 1/9 arc sec where available. There are even a few spots with 1 m LIDAR DEMs now. Downloadable from the National Map portal.

    (Hi-res DEMs make no sense in Plate Carrée pseudo...
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    I already had some of the new formats deciphered...

    I already had some of the new formats deciphered (only those that TransDEM writes or reads, of course), but then encountered some strange stuff in the obs files, IIRC. It looked like 3D...
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    TransDEM is only the converter. Accuracy is...

    TransDEM is only the converter. Accuracy is solely depending on the geo data it processes.

    For the elevations, we have to look at available DEM and their quality. I would leave Google Earth out of...
  10. I don't know to which DEM data source GE...

    I don't know to which DEM data source GE currently refers, but I guess using hi-res USGS DEMs directly would give you more accurate readings. If you happen to find 1 meter LIDAR-DEMs for the route,...
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    That's Google Maps where you'll need the API key,...

    That's Google Maps where you'll need the API key, John, not Google Earth. Doing it with Google Earth is a cumbersome job, as you have to arrange and process the images individually, in a semi-manual...
  12. With Google Earth Pro 7.3.2.5776: ...

    With Google Earth Pro 7.3.2.5776:

    https://img.transdem.de/albums/userpics/10001/thumb_Wismar01.jpg
    https://img.transdem.de/albums/userpics/10001/thumb_Wismar02.jpg...
  13. But not using TransDEM. On the other hand,...

    But not using TransDEM.

    On the other hand, that one helps to understand how complicated things become if we neglect an essential piece of information in any map or ortho-image: the geo-reference....
  14. Ortho-images on ground textures only make sense...

    Ortho-images on ground textures only make sense as background baseboards. The resolution is limited to 1 pixel per ground vertex (10m or 5m), for technical reasons related to the internal Trainz data...
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    I'd like to suggest Open Topo Map...

    I'd like to suggest Open Topo Map instead. It may provide a better visual impression of hilliness than Google Earth / Streetview, albeit the view from above. (My preferred perspective. But I'm a map...
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    The dialog window for exporting vector data to...

    The dialog window for exporting vector data to Trainz has an option "Adopt terrain elevation". That will add the z component.

    You can also add vector height earlier in the process, with the...
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    Use "Add DEM". But beware. Each of these 1m DEMs...

    Use "Add DEM". But beware. Each of these 1m DEMs is 10 x 10 km, that is 100,000,000 points. Each point is 4 byte (single precision float), 400 MB (382 MiB). 16 of them, if they are arranged in a...
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    The National Map Viewer...

    The National Map Viewer has an option "Show Availability" for each type of DEM. Where there is no 1m DEM, try 1/9 arc sec as the second best.
    ...
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    Yes, for part of the area. Check with the...

    Yes, for part of the area. Check with the National Map Viewer. File format is .img. UTM zone is 18. Fill up with 1/9 or 1/3 arc sec data, if needed.
    ...
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    Unless you have good contacts to your railway or...

    Unless you have good contacts to your railway or road administrations the answer will be no. Open Street Map vector data is 2D only. However, if you are able to obtain a hi-res 1m LIDAR DEM for your...
  21. The keyword is "geo coordinates". With this...

    The keyword is "geo coordinates". With this approach we can combine different data sources, like ortho-images, DEM terrain or, more and more popular, historic topo maps. They all fit nicely together,...
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    You'll find the entire set of the 20 standard...

    You'll find the entire set of the 20 standard ground textures for maps (and also the custom set of 128 ground textures for aerial imagery) as CDP(s) in the TransDEM installation directory.
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    This is one option. The other is to manipulate...

    This is one option.

    The other is to manipulate the DEM before exporting to Trainz. The easiest way to do this is with a single control point:

    Load the DEM from file.
    Check the elevation...
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    As long as your Trainz route is saved in a file...

    As long as your Trainz route is saved in a file format up to and including T:ANE SP1 it will work on any route. The route has to be temporarily exported for this, as TransDEM needs access to the...
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    Why are you making this so complicated? With the...

    Why are you making this so complicated? With the right data you get all the cuttings and embankments nicely shaped, and definitely no "rivers up the side of a valley" (unless the river turns out to...
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